2016 was the safest year in Australian aviation, measured by numbers of deaths, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said yesterday.
The ATSB issued its annual Aviation Occurrence Statistics report yesterday, covering the years 2007 to 2016.
The ATSB found in 2016, nearly 230 aircraft were involved in accidents in Australia, with 291 involved in a serious incident (an incident with a high probability of an accident). There were 21 fatalities in the aviation sector in 2016, which was fewer than any previous year recorded by the ATSB. There were no fatalities in either high- or low-capacity regular public transport (RPT) operations, which has been the case since 1975 and 2010 respectively.
Commercial air transport operations experienced one fatality from 15 accidents; general aviation experienced 10 fatalities from 119 accidents; and recreational aviation had 10 fatalities from 63 accidents.
The ATSB noted, however, that its analysis depended on accurate information from all sectors of aviation. ‘While there has been an increase in accident and incident reporting, the limited detail provided for most occurrences, especially by recreational flyers, remains a challenge for the industry and ATSB. This report also highlights the need for improvements in the reporting rates for some areas in general aviation.’
The ATSB’s analysis of 2017, will not record such a fortunate result. General aviation in Australia was marred by several multiple fatality crashes last year. They included the crashes of a Grumman Mallard in Perth in January, a Beech Super King Air at Essendon in February, a Cessna Conquest in South Australia in May, a Squirrel helicopter at Hobart in October and a DHC-2 Beaver north of Sydney on New Year’s Eve.